Understanding Halloween History

It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for… it’s finally the week of Halloween! And with October 31st only days away, now is the time to celebrate before it’s too late.

Of course, you could go buy a bag of your favorite candy and pop in a scary movie. You could carve some pumpkins or get your pants scared off at a haunted house. You could even do a culmination of all these festive activities… But would you still know the true meaning of Halloween?

There’s more to Halloween than dressing up, being scary, and trick-or-treating. Halloween history goes back hundreds of years. And it’s celebrated in various ways around the world.

In this article, we’ll not only explore the history and origin of Halloween. We’ll also hash out some interesting Halloween facts to go along with this history lesson.

No fake news here. We’re about to creep it real!

Halloween History: The Early Origins

October 31st. Many of us know this date as a day when little kids dress up and go door-to-door asking for candy. We call it Halloween. And in the Christian calendar, Halloween day kicks off Allhallowtide, a period of 3 days when Christians remember and honor the dead.

The term Halloween (or Hallowe’en) derives from “hallowed evening” and “All Hallows’ Eve”. In fact, the term Halloween didn’t come into being until the mid-18th century. But the holiday and its customs have been around for far longer than that.

Where did the origin of Halloween begin?

Keep reading to find out!

Samhain

We can trace Halloween history back 2,000 years to a Celtic festival known as Samhain.

The proper way to pronounce Samhain is “sah-win”. In Gaelic, it translates to “summer’s end”. This is exactly what Samhain celebrates: The end of the harvest season. And the beginning of the darker months.

Records indicate that the origins of Samhain date as far back as the 10th century in Gaelic Ireland. But it’s likely much older than that. It’s one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals and it occurs around November 1st.

Samhain is a time when people come together and gather what they’ll need for the winter. It’s predominantly celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man to this day. But back in the medieval times, Samhain celebrators would gather whatever food they could. This was a time to bring in the herds and make note of how many animals were around for slaughter.

It was also not uncommon for celebrators to burn ritualistic bonfires. This practice is still done to this day, mostly in the Scottish Highlands and in Wales. It’s believed that the bonfires cast out evil or harmful forces. In some parts of Wales, it’s believed that this ritualistic practice can foretell the future… and even predict future marriages and deaths.

Communing with the Dead

In Celtic and Gaelic mythology, there’s this world. And then there’s the Otherworld, where a higher power reigns and where the dead go.

During Samhain, it’s believed that spirits cross into this world from the Otherworld. Many spirits wish to revisit their homes, and this is the only time of year they’re able to do so.

It’s believed that many of them bring good fortune for the winter ahead. The spirits cross over during Samhain to protect the people, as well as their livestock. Tribal villages who celebrated Samhain back hundreds of years ago would leave out offerings for the spirits. They believed that the spirits would especially bring them good fortune if they did so.

But not all spirits cross over into this world to bring protection for the winter ahead. It’s believed that some spirits are out to cause trouble. Many tribesmen would choose to stay near their homes during Samhain out of fear. Should they have to go far, they’d act superstitiously by wearing their clothes inside-out or carrying salt with them. It was also not uncommon for tribes to leave out food offerings to keep hostile spirits contained.

Halloween’s Christian Roots

It’s true that Halloween was likely influenced by the customs of Samhain. But that’s not to say that Samhain and Halloween are one in the same.

Halloween day is technically known as All Saints’ Eve. Then, the following day, All Hallows’ Day (or All Saints’ Day) takes place. This day is for celebrating all the mainstream Christian saints, as well as the lesser-known ones.

Then, on November 2nd, All Souls’ Day takes place. On this day, observant Christians commemorate their lost loved ones. This is a day when family members visit the gravestones of their past relatives. It’s also a time for helping the dead cleanse their souls and help them rest easier in purgatory.

In some parts of the world, people will ring bells to help the spirits through the cleansing process. Families will often get together for a feast. In traditional practices, followers pass out soul cakes to the less fortunate. This is also believed to help the dead cleanse their souls in purgatory.

Halloween Facts About Trick-or-Treating

The origin of Halloween has deep roots in both Samhain and Allhallowtide. But how did the concept of trick-or-treating come into being?

Halloween history shows that there are a few possible explanations as to why we give out treats on Halloween. During Samhain, treats appeased both good and unruly spirits. On All Souls’ Day, treats helped spirits caught in purgatory rest a little easier.

And it turns out that playing tricks and pranks during Halloween is more of a North American custom. By the late 19th century, North Americans conceptualized the practice playing pranks. Throwing eggs, tipping outhouse bathrooms, and messing around on farms were commonplace.

But it’s argued that playing pranks are reminiscent of certain Samhain beliefs. After all, many Celtic and Gaelic tribes believed some spirits caused mischief. So, it’s not totally random that celebrators would stir up pranks around the time of Samhain.

There’s Still Time to Celebrate & Learn More About Halloween!

The Halloween season may be coming to a close. But it’s not yet October 31st, which means there’s still time to celebrate the most glorious time of the year!

If you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned, downright terrifying fun, there’s still time to buy your tickets to Cutting Edge. We’re open October 30th and 31st, as well as November 3rd.

Don’t wait – get your tickets now!

Best Horror Movies of the Last 20 Years

With Halloween only days away, you may be wondering which films are the best horror movies of all time.

A few weeks ago, Cutting Edge delved into the scariest movies scenes of the 20th century. We covered the moment Danny Torrance meets the ghosts of the Grady sisters in The Shining. Nosferatu’s iconic ascent up the stairs, and even Quint’s bone-chilling monologue in Jaws.

Most of these films came out between the 1920’s and the 1970’s… and they changed the horror genre – and cinema as a whole – forever.

Yet, there are other horror films that have terrified audiences since then… so horrifying that they’ve etched themselves in people’s memories for years to come.

So, which films have lacerated cinema in the last 20 years? Get your popcorn and Halloween candy ready. Lock your door… and maybe keep a light on (or two). Because here are the best horror movies to come out since the 1990’s!

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

There’s nothing more terrifying than the possibility of horrific events actually taking place. Horror mockumentaries had existed prior to 1999. But none compared to what The Blair Witch Project had in store for audiences nearly 20 years ago.

The Blair Witch Project was a Sundance hit in early 1999. But by the summer, the $60,000 budget film became a box office smash grossing over $248 million.

The movie tells the story of three student filmmakers who set off into the Black Hills of western Maryland. They set off to investigate an urban legend known as the Blair Witch. They go missing, which the audience learns in the opening credits. And a year after their disappearance, the lost footage of their journey is discovered.

The movie that audiences watch is the alleged lost footage. Unlike typical horror movies, you never see what’s lurking – and terrorizing – the students.

To add to the terror, the directors marketed the film to portray it as having actually happened. They used a missing persons poster showing the three characters, for example. And at the time, the world was still new to the Internet. So, when the film’s website showed fake news reports from “police”, people really began to wonder.

Nowadays, the modern film-goer can easily tell what’s fake from what’s real. But in 1999, just shy of 20 years ago, we weren’t conditioned the same way we are now… making The Blair Witch Project one of the best horror movies of all time.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Are you looking to enjoy scary movies on Netflix this Halloween?

Every October, Netflix ups the ante on their selection of horror films. And if you’re a fan of supernatural horrors or thrillers, you’re in luck this year!

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense is one of the newer scary movies out now on Netflix. The film put Shyamalan on the map, who has since created some of the most memorable plot twists of all time. But none compare to the plot twist in The Sixth Sense, a story about a troubled boy who can see and talk to the dead.

The Sixth Sense is not like a typical gory horror film. It’s more suspenseful and thrilling than it is horrifying. But Shyamalan does a good job at creating a bone-chilling, creepy atmosphere. Not to mention, character arcs played by Bruce Willis, Toni Colette, and Haley Joel Osment.

The Ring (2002)

Asian horror is a genre in its own right. Unlike mainstream, Hollywood horror, Asian horror films draw on trepidation rather than gore. They’re also distinguished by creepy, dream-like atmospheres and psychological concepts involving malevolent spirits.

Back in the early 2000’s, Hollywood began to remake many horror films that were popular in East Asia. But the defining film that started the trend was 2003’s The Ring.

The Ring begins like a typical Hollywood slasher film. Two teenage girls begin discussing the legend surrounding a bizarre videotape. The tape allegedly kills those who watch it within 7 days. And after the bizarre death of one of the girls, the film transitions to its eerie, foreboding roots.

The rest of the film explores a journalist’s investigation into the videotape… and audiences learn the horrifying truth behind it. 

The Ring is not a film you want to watch alone at night with the lights off!

Saw (2004)

Psychological, supernatural horror films may not be your cup of tea. Maybe you’re a fan of everything bloody, gory, and horrendous. And if that is the case, you’ll want to sit down with James Wan’s Saw franchise this Halloween.

In 2004, the first Saw debuted and paved the way for 7 more films in the span of a decade. The original film begins with two men waking up in a deteriorating bathroom, shackled. It’s not long until they discover that they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetuated by a serial killer.

Audiences themselves feel the high-stakes game that the characters must play on screen. The film is gritty and cold in style. And it’s twisted gore is enough to make viewers squeamish.

The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan forever etched himself in horror history with his work on the Saw franchise. But Wan made himself a horror legend with his work on The Conjuring franchise.

Wan bases The Conjuring off of real-life paranormal psychologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The two are most known for their investigative work involving The Amityville Horror. But The Conjuring instead focuses on a different case that the Warrens investigated.

In 1971, the Warrens go to a Rhode Island farmhouse where an alleged haunting is taking place. The Perron family, who live on the farm, have experienced a malevolent presence in the home. They call upon the Warrens, who determine that they’ll need to perform an exorcism on the house.

Are you a fan of haunted house stories based on real events? And are you looking for quality scary movies on Netflix right now? If so, The Conjuring is definitely worth a watch as it’s based off events reported to have happened. If you enjoy the first film, the rest of the franchise is also worth checking out this Halloween.

Halloween (2018)

To this day, John Carpenter’s Halloween is world-renowned as one of the best horror movies of all time. The original film not only introduced one of the scariest villains of all time, Michael Myers. Carpenter laid the foundation for future horror films to come.

The Halloween franchise totals eleven films that span the course of 40 years. Nine of the films center around the murderous Michael Myers. And the films have always explored his thirst to murder his baby sister, Laurie Strode.

But in 2018, the eleventh installment of the franchise chose to ignore all the films prior to it. Instead, this new film occurs 40 years after the events of the original 1978 film… with the major difference having Michael and Laurie not be brother and sister. And this time, Laurie, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, awaits Michael’s return.

The new Halloween film is one of the only scary movies out now in theaters. And so far, it’s already grossed nearly $91 million its first weekend alone.

Watch the Best Horror Movies of All Time This Halloween

Halloween is just over a week away, which means there’s still plenty of time to binge-watch scary movies. If you’re looking to celebrate the best time of year with the best horror movies, look no further than this list. And if we forgot to mention a scary movie made in the last 20 years, let us know in the comments.

But before you do, have you bought your tickets to the main Halloween event of the season? Cutting Edge Haunted House is still open every weekend until November 3rd. If you’re a horror fan, you won’t want to miss this!

What’s New at Cutting Edge Haunted House?

Cutting Edge Haunted House is here to ask you one question:

What scares you the most?

Maybe it’s the kind of darkness that swallows you whole. Or not knowing who – or what – may be lurking in those woods.

Maybe it’s clowns that make you shudder… with their blank stares, white faces, wide smiles, and creepy, bloody red cheeks. Or it could be the slithering movement of snakes or the sight of dolls that send chills up your spine.

We all know what it’s like to feel scared.

Your blood pressure kicks into high gear. A ball suddenly shoots up and clenches your throat. Your heart races. Sometimes you can’t even look away from something so horrifying until your stomach starts to churn.

Fear is part of what makes us human as it helps us survive and ward off danger. But the feeling of fear coursing through our veins is also something that we seek out… especially this time of year.

Here at the Cutting Edge, we know what it’s like to feel scared. We’re still one of the largest haunted houses in 2018. And some new creatures have been lurking around our parts.

So, what’s new at the Cutting Edge Haunted House? Read on to find out… if you dare.

The Story

If you’ve never heard of the Cutting Edge, let us bring you up to speed:

We’re located on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas in what’s known as Hell’s Half Acre. Back in the days after the bloody Civil War, the Acre was home to the poor Fort Worth souls lurking on the fringes of society.

They were the thirsty gun-slingers. The dancers and gamblers in the smoky, sticky saloons. And then there were the robbers and vagabonds who hid out in the Acre when they weren’t in the clinker.

It wasn’t long until the city of Fort Worth put an end to the riff-raff. In 1908, the old meat packing plant went up. For decades, the plant went unoccupied… until one day in 1991 when the old packing equipment started working again… only they started moving human corpses instead of meat.

This was the beginning of the Cutting Edge Haunted House. And Hell’s Half Acre has never been the same since.

Birth of the Cutting Edge

It could be the spirits of all those unfortunate souls who once called Hell’s Half Acre home. Maybe they’re trying to stir up trouble again when Halloween rolls around. The Cutting Edge could be a source of bad energy like in real-life haunted houses. Or maybe it’s just a bunch of horror-loving, mischievous beings who love to scare people. We’ll let you decide.

Annually we’ve ranked as one of the most terrifying Halloween experiences in the country. We’re recognized as the largest haunted house by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 and 2015. And we’re still one of the largest with a staggering average of 45-55 minutes to complete… that is if one of our meat hooks don’t catch you first.


What have we got cooking up at the old meat packing factory? We’ve got some pretty exciting news to spill with you…

We’re Ranked One of the Most Innovative Haunted Houses!

You read that right. The Cutting Edge is one of the best haunted houses in 2018 according to America Haunts. And if you’re not familiar with who they are, we’ll break it down for you below:

If there’s one association that understands haunted attractions, it’s America Haunts. Each year, they go deep into the darkness of some of the country’s biggest and baddest haunted houses. They go behind-the-scenes in search of the most innovative when it comes to acting, makeup, special effects, and props.

This year, America Haunts named Cutting Edge Haunted House one of the most groundbreaking and best haunted houses in the country. And aside from mingling with some haunted meat packers and blood-thirsty vampires (the marching band will rise from the dead, too), what can visitors expect this year?

Jurassic Swamp, Dragon Lair, & 1920’s Circus

Dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years, right?

We thought so, too. Until a swamp began to puddle around the Cutting Edge… resurrecting the dinosaurs from their very long slumber in the process.

You won’t find Chris Pratt lurking around here (Sorry, ladies). But you should know that the dinosaurs are not pleased to be awake.

Neither is the mama dragon whose babies are causing quite a ruckus around Cutting Edge.

And if that weren’t enough, a circus has also rolled into Hell’s Half Acre. Rumor has it they were once the biggest show in town back in the 1920’s. Suddenly they’re back and they’ve pitched their tent right at the Cutting Edge… and they’re definitely clowning around.

Visit Cutting Edge Haunted House This Halloween

The countdown is on!

There are 13 days until Halloween. Which means there’s still plenty of time to get your pants scared off. If you’re seeking real-life, terrifying thrills this Halloween, look no further than one of America’s largest and best haunted houses in 2018.

What are you waiting for? Cutting Edge Haunted House tickets are on sale now through November 3rd!

Scary Pumpkin Carvings & Decorations for Halloween 2018

The leaves are changing… and if you live in Texas near Cutting Edge Haunted House, it’s certainly not getting any colder. But that doesn’t matter!

It’s Halloween season, which means it’s time for scary movie marathons, haunted house fun… and pumpkin carving!

If you still haven’t got your pumpkins yet, what are you waiting for?

Perhaps you’re in need of a little carving inspiration… and that’s okay! We’ve got you covered. With these scary pumpkin carvings ideas, you’ll send chills up people’s spines!

The Basics

Before you set off to create a nightmare of scary pumpkins, it’s important to know the basics… especially if this is your first rodeo!

First, you’ll need some newspaper to lay out. Pumpkin guts can get pretty messy. To hollow out the pumpkin, use a keyhole saw. Cut a circle around the stem – wide enough to reach in.

If you plan to use lights, cut out the whole from the bottom. That way, you’ll be able to hide the cords.

After cutting out the hole, it’s time to get your hands dirty. To scoop out the pumpkin pulp and seeds, it helps to use scrapers, large spoons – anything that’ll make it easier.

Once you hollow out the pumpkin entirely, it’s time to get to the carving part. It’s really that easy!

Not Your Typical Jack-o-Lantern

Ah, Jack-o-Lanterns. The quintessential pumpkin carving. Two triangles cut out to form the eyes… followed by a big old toothy smile.

But what if you’re a horror enthusiast looking for a much more sinister Jack-o-Lantern? Take it from artist Eric Freitas to show you what a real Jack-o-Lantern ought to look like…

If you’re looking to create a Jack-o-Lantern like this one, you’ll want to use a thin blade. Be sure to sharpen it beforehand. A dull blade could lead to injury.

Rather than triangles for eyes, you’ll want to created angled slits. They should extend from the top sides of the pumpkin towards the center.

For the mouth, you’ll want to create a wide smile that curves at the ends. If you’re a fan of fangs, carve out some razor-sharp teeth. Or, like Eric Freitas did, you can leave some pumpkin guts dangling down.

Pumpkin Zombie

This next idea is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re on the artistic side and love zombies, you’ll probably be up for the challenge!

We want to say that this one may have taken hours – even days – to create. And the artist who created it probably needed a very large pumpkin.

It may take some time finding the right pumpkin. Not only should it be large. It should have a skin that’s at least a few inches thick. That’s because you’ll really be carving intricately into it. It’s the same concept as with this witch pumpkin carving you’ll see below:

If you decide to try out these challenging and scary pumpkin carvings, let us know how it goes in the comments!

Jack-o-Lantern Skeleton

For this next idea, you’ll need a regular orange pumpkin and a smaller white one.

First, carve out a standard Jack-o-Lantern. After doing so, slice it in half. You may want to take this one outside and put an ax to it.

Then, taking the white pumpkin, carve out a skeleton’s head. Its eyes should be large and round and it should also have an upside down heart for its nose.

To carve out its mouth, take two chunks out of the side. You could also hollow out the skin without taking it out completely. That way, if you decide to light up the skeleton pumpkin, its hollowed cheeks will illuminate.

Next, using a small knife, create a delicate slit. Then, have lines going out from the top and bottom of the slit for its teeth.

Ravenous Pumpkin

For lots of people, Halloween is the only time of year they can channel the inner monsters inside them. Many will go all out when it comes to decorating houses for Halloween. And if you’re one of them, you’re definitely going to need scary pumpkin decorating ideas.

This next idea will only work if you have a mannequin, a large doll, or a scarecrow. And it’s just as funny as it is scary!

To recreate this idea, the Jack-o-Lantern’s mouth will need to be very wide. Make it scary by giving it sharp blades for teeth and coating them with red paint. This will especially complement a haunted house if you’re making one this Halloween.

Puking Its Guts Out

If you’re on the humorous side, this next idea is for you – and it’s very simple!

Create small slits for the pumpkin’s eyes so that it looks like it’s squinting. Then, make a gaping hole for its mouth.

Instead of tossing away the insides, have them pouring out of the pumpkin’s mouth. Seeds and all.

As long as you don’t mind pumpkin guts sitting on your porch for a while, this is a hilarious and brilliant idea.

Decoration Ideas

Not looking to get your hands too dirty? Don’t worry! There are still plenty of scary pumpkin decorating ideas.

Paint makes for some of the scariest pumpkin decorations – and it’s likely that you already have some. You could douse a pumpkin in red paint, letting it drip down the sides. Or, you could make it look possessed by doing the same with black paint.

Try hot gluing tons of bumpy and warty gourds all over some pumpkins. You could even make a face out of them. You’ll turn heads in the process!

Create Scary Pumpkin Carvings This Halloween

There’s a whole market out there for pumpkin decorations and carving stencils. But rather than spend the money, why not try out these simple and scary pumpkin decorating ideas?

All you’ll need are the decorations and the right sized blades to recreate them. And one thing is certain if you do… You’ll give trick-or-treaters and pedestrians the creeps while they marvel at your skills.

Which scary pumpkin carvings will you create this year? Let us know in the comments!

And if you haven’t got your tickets to Cutting Edge Haunted House yet, now is the time to do so!

America’s Creepiest, Real-Life Haunted Houses

Do you believe in ghosts?

It’s not always a question that people can answer with a definitive answer.

Sure, non-believers will outright tell you “no” when presented with the question. But there are some who ponder the possibility of a realm between this life and the next. And then there are others who’ve experienced things beyond reason and explanation first-hand.

America is home to some of the creepiest, real-life haunted houses in the world. Where are they? And what are the stories behind them?

Halloween will soon befall upon us. And there’s no better time to learn the truth behind these haunted places!

The Chelsea Hotel

At one point in time, the Chelsea Hotel was the tallest building in New York City. But its extensive – and spooky – history makes this landmark one of the most notorious.

The Background

Mark Rothko, Allen Ginsberg, and Stanley Kubrick once lived there. Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen had a love affair there. Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols arguably killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, there. Dylan Thomas died there, too. And dozens of other pop-cult icons – and hundreds of residents – once called the Chelsea home.

But many past guests and residents have made claims about paranormal activities occurring there, as well.

Source: HGTV

What Happened

Cold spots. Wind gusts in rooms with closed windows and doors. Mysterious sounds and items moving with no explanation. Some have even claimed to see the apparitions of Nancy Spungen and Dylan Thomas there.

The Chelsea Hotel closed for remodeling in 2011. It’s set to reopen its doors in early 2019. There’s no way to know for certain if the paranormal activities will resume then – or if they’ve ever stopped. But one thing is certain:

The Chelsea Hotel has gone down as one of the most famous haunted places in America.

The Amityville House

If there’s one haunted house that’s been the center of the paranormal debate, it’s 112 Ocean Avenue… otherwise known as the setting of The Amityville Horror.

The book – and the subsequent movie saga – has told the story of one of the scariest haunted houses ever. But if you’re not familiar, let us bring you up to speed!

The Amityville Horror

In 1975, the Lutzes moved into the colonial-style home in Amityville, Long Island. Prior to the Lutzes residency, the house went unoccupied for 13 months. The DeFeo family, who lived there before the Lutzes, were murdered by the eldest son the year prior.

The Lutzes experienced a number of paranormal activities in the 28 days they lived there. George Lutz would wake up at 3:15 every morning, which was the same time that the DeFeo murders took place. Kathy Lutz began having nightmares of the murders. She could also sense an unseen presence on numerous occasions. Green slime would ooze from the walls. Mysterious sounds of opening and closing doors and windows. Unexplained voices speaking to George and Kathy. Kathy levitating from the bed. An apparition in the shape of a demonic pig befriended 5-year-old Missy Lutz.

Source: Wikimedia

And that’s not even the half of it!

Is It True?

Many have long disputed over whether the Lutzes account is a hoax. But there have been numerous investigations and polygraph exams. And in 1976, paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, confirmed that the family’s ordeal wasn’t a hoax.

The address of 112 Ocean Avenue has since changed. Yet, the Amityville saga continues to tell the story of one of the world’s most infamous haunted houses.

The Whaley House

This next spot on our list of America’s most haunted places takes us all the way to sunny San Diego, California.

The Whaley House is widely recognized as a historical and architectural landmark. But it’s also rumored to be a place where unusual, paranormal activities take place.

The Whaley Tragedies

Thomas Whaley, an early settler who set off to California during the Gold Rush, built the home in 1857. He lived there with his wife and six children. But during their time living there, the family experienced immense tragedy.

Baby Thomas, Jr. passed away in the house when he was only 1 1/2 years old. Thomas’s daughter, Violet, committed suicide in 1885 at age 22. Violet’s suicide perpetuated scandal in San Diego high society. Her younger sister, Corinne, lost her engagement as a result.

After all the tragedy, Thomas Whaley built a new home for the family to live in. But not long after, he and his eldest daughter passed away. The Whaley House went unoccupied until 1909, when Thomas’s son, Francis, renovated it.

Eventually, the remaining Whaley family moved back in. But in 1913, the family matriarch, Anna, died there. The following year, Francis passed away there. Then, in 1928, the eldest son, George, died in the home. The last living member of the Whaley family, Corinne Lillian, passed away in the house in 1958.

The Hauntings

The Whaley property may have had a paranormal presence before the family moved in. A Canadian man who went by the name “Yankee Jim” was subsequently hung on the property after stealing a boat. While the Whaley’s occupied the house, they claimed to have heard unusual noises. They attributed the sounds to Yankee Jim’s ghostly presence.

For decades, guests and staff members have claimed to see the apparitions of the Whaley’s. It’s said that the ghost of Thomas Whaley often occupies the upper landing. Anna Whaley is often found downstairs, and at one time, in front of her portrait.

The Whaley House not only served as the family’s residence. It was also a prominent gathering point in the San Diego community. It once served as a general store, a courthouse, and even as the city’s original theater.

For all these reasons mentioned, people continue to visit the Whaley House. But the hauntings continually draw in believers and skeptics alike.

Villisca Axe Murder House

Imagine a sleepy, Midwestern town with a population of no more than 2,000 residents. Sounds like it could be the backdrop for a horror story, right?

Only there is actually a real-life horror story in a setting like this. The next location on our list of the scariest haunted houses in America takes us all the way to Villisca, Iowa. Here’s the story…

The Villisca Ax Murders

In June 1912, neighbors to the affluent Moore family discovered a grisly murder scene. Neighbors found Josiah and Sarah Moore, as well as their four young children, bludgeoned to death by an ax. Two additional children, who had stayed the night, were also murdered.

The brutal mass murder sparked national attention. But despite many investigations and trials, the murderer was never discovered.

The Haunting

It comes as no surprise that the Moore residency garnered the name Villisca Ax Murder House. But it’s also gained a reputation as a haunted site for paranormal activities.

There are many claims of apparitions and sounds of laughing and crying children. Some have reported being able to play games with spirits. There’s also a door in one of the children’s bedrooms that opens and closes on its own.

The LaLaurie Mansion

Are you familiar with the Lone Star State’s creepiest urban legends? If not, they’re certainly worth learning about – whether you’re a skeptic or a believer.

But did you also know that the southern United States – including Texas – is home to some of the scariest places on earth?

The LaLaurie House in New Orleans may be the scariest. And if you’ve seen American Horror Story: Coven, you likely know about this house of horrors.

The LaLaurie Horrors

Back in the day, the French Quarter in New Orleans was the heart of high society.  Delphine LaLaurie and her husband were prominent figures who lived in a mansion in the French Quarter.

In public, Madame LaLaurie seemed polite to her slaves. But others have said otherwise. Neighbors began to have strong suspicions that Madame LaLaurie’s mistreated her slaves… far beyond cruelty.

To bystanders, it seemed like many LaLaurie slaves would disappear without explanation. The rumors turned out to be true after a fire broke out in the LaLaurie kitchen. Firefighters subsequently discovered a torture chamber containing mutilated, shackled, strapped, and emaciated slaves on the brink of death.

A mob broke out as a result of the discovery. They destroyed the LaLaurie mansion. But not before the LaLaurie’s fled – never to be seen in New Orleans again.

Source: Top Tenz

The Haunting

It’s believed that the infamous haunting began as soon as the LaLaurie’s left the city. Since the 19th century, people have claimed to see apparitions. When the mansion served as a dance school later on, its students would show physical signs of abuse. There was never a concrete explanation for their scratches and bruises.

It’s most common to hear moans and wailing from inside and on the nearby street outside. People have experienced cold spots and the sensations of feeling touched. Paranormal experts have also picked up on strong electronic voice sounds.

Visit Haunted Houses This Halloween

We’re all familiar with haunted houses from film, television, and books. And so often fiction arises from people’s real – and terrifying – experiences. These locations mentioned are only a few of America’s long list of haunted places… and they’re definitely among some of the scariest and most influential.

Are you looking for a thrilling experience this Halloween – minus the actual paranormal activity?

It’s okay. Testing whether you’re a true believer or a skeptic is not for the faint of heart. But it is possible to scare your pants off in an all-inclusive experience right in Fort Worth, Texas.
Cutting Edge is home to the world’s largest haunted Halloween attraction. If you’re looking to shriek and scream this Halloween, now is the time to buy your tickets!

Top 10 Scariest Movie Scenes from the 20th Century

The recipe for horror has, more or less, always been the same. Have a scary plot that involves a villainous character or creature. Throw some jump scares, shock value, and suspense into the mix. And depending on the story, there could be a pinch of gore or a bloody abundance of it.

Most horror films all possess these elements. But some films did a better job at creating memorable – and downright terrifying – movie moments. Many of these films are hallmarks of the 20th century. But which of them have the scariest movie scenes of all time?

Here’s a countdown of 10 scary movie moments that we’ll remember for generations to come!

10. Quint’s Indianapolis Speech – Jaws

We don’t always see or know what’s lurking in the water we swim in. And no film plays on this fear better than Jaws. Of course, it’s scenes where the shark devours people that we find most disturbing. But one scene, in particular, still sends chills up people’s spines 43 years on.

Towards the end of the film, Chief Brody, Matt Hooper, and Quint set off to find – and kill – the shark. While drinking and comparing scars, Quint reveals that he was on the USS Indianapolis. The famous vessel sank during WWII after delivering the Hiroshima bomb. The sinking became the worst loss of life in the history of the US Navy. Those on board were subject to dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks.

Jaws (1975)

Shaw’s monologue may not be your typical horror scene. But the scene itself not only describes what nature is capable of, but the horrors, like war and violence, man inflicts on each other. The delivery is as bone-chilling as it is memorable. The monologue also serves as a grim foreshadowing of Quint’s fate in the jaws of the shark, something the character couldn’t escape twice.

9. Prom Scene – Carrie

What’s next on our list of the scariest movie scenes of the 20th century? With this next film, we’ll still stay in the 1970’s, but with an entirely different horror film.

The prom scene in the 1976 film adaptation of Carrie is iconic even to this day. As the telekinetic teenager comes to terms with her powers, her life seems to start to change for the better. She’s asked to go to the prom by a popular student. She learns to stand up to her religious fanatic mother. Her classmates, who once ridiculed and bullied her to no end, begin to accept her.

But that all changes when she’s crowned prom queen. After a couple of vicious students douse her in pigs blood, Carrie unleashes the infamous rampage.

Carrie (1976)

8. “They’re Here” – Poltergeist

Take a happy suburban family with 3 kids and a dog. Place them in a cookie cutter home built on top of an old cemetery. And you’ve got the makings of one legendary haunted house story.

The genre of horror was no stranger to the concept of haunted houses. But 1982’s Poltergeist took it to a whole new level.

Before the poltergeists kick it into full gear and terrorize the Freeling family, little Carol Anne makes contact with them. She does so by communicating with them through television static. A ghost’s wispy hand reaches through the screen, which acts as a portal to other side. The spirit-like entity then enters the house violently, causing an earthquake.

Carol Anne  goes on to announce their arrival in one of the most quotable movie lines of all time:

“They’re here.”

Poltergeist (1982)

7. Michael Stalks Laurie – Halloween

Compared to Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, there’s a realness to Michael Myers… at least in the earlier films. And it’s for this reason that Halloween continues to be one of the scariest slasher movie franchises of all time.

In one of the very first scenes of the series, Michael stalks Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) around town. Though miniscule in comparison to the horror Michael will go on to unleash, it’s creepy nonetheless. It’s the first time we see his blank stare and shadowy silhouette. And it’s certainly not the last.

Halloween (1978)

Not to mention, John Carpenter’s daunting piano melodies in this scene is still spooky to this day.

6. Shower Scene – Psycho

A beautiful screaming damsel in distress. It’s one of the key ingredients in any horror story. And it all began with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho.

Janet Leigh plays Marion, a woman who stops for a night at the Bates Motel. Though, she probably shouldn’t have because while in the shower, she’s stabbed to death.

Psycho (1960)

It’s not only a central point of the film. Janet Leigh’s screams and the angles from which the scene is shot makes it one of the most memorable of all time. Leigh also paved the way for future female leads in horror films – including her own daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis!

5. Chestburster – Alien

We’ve reached the top 5 scariest movie scenes of the 20th century. Lots of screams and nightmares went into these top 5 moments… but as horror fans, we’re certainly grateful for them.

Science fiction and horror often go hand-in-hand. No other movie demonstrates this better than Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien. It’s the first of a popular franchise among Sci-Fi fans and horror enthusiasts. And it’s most well-known for one gruesome, gory scene. If you haven’t seen the film yet, proceed with caution!

Alien (1979)

The Nostromo crew enjoys a meal together back on board. Everything seems to be going fine. That is until one of the crew members starts convulsing. He’s then killed when a small alien bursts through his chest.

So often when people think of Alien, it’s this scene that comes to mind… and we can understand why.

4. Staircase Scene – Nosferatu

German Expressionism, the roots of noir and horror, graced the world in the 1920’s. There was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and then there was Nosferatu, arguably one of the first vampire films ever.

But Nosferatu is more than just a vampire movie. It was a groundbreaking visual masterpiece for its time. Its abstract imagery and shadows were influential not only on horror, but other film genres.

Nosferatu (1922)

The scene where Nosferatu climbs up a staircase is a scene that’s studied in film classes today. You can see his hooked nose, his hunched back, and his clawed hands from just his shadow. Few films had ever implied a character’s presence through a shadow alone. And it’s a film practice we see so much today but hardly pay attention to.

3. Danny Meets the Grady Sisters – The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is world-renowned as not only one of the scariest movies of all time. Kubrick’s cinematography exemplifies how you can transform a simple story into a living Hell.

There’s a scene where Danny rides his big wheel through the halls of the Overlook Hotel. Kubrick’s use of symmetry while filming this is impeccable. As Danny turns a corner, he’s confronted by a set of young twin girls clad in matching blue dresses. They hauntingly utter out to him from the end of the hallway:

The Shining (1980)

“Hello Danny. Come play with us. Come play with us, Danny. Forever… and ever… and ever.”

These words serve as a warning to Danny, who could suffer the same fate as them at the hands of his father, Jack. In between their echoing words, Kubrick narrows in on Danny, whose facial expressions quickly shift from a hard, perplexed stare to outright terror. He begins to see the girls brutally murdered with an ax in the hallway, with blood puddled on the floor and the walls.

2. Baseball Bat Scene – The Shining

The Shining gets another mention on our list of the scariest movie scenes from the 20th century. Coming in at #2 is the baseball bat scene featuring Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson. Like Quint’s USS Indianapolis speech in Jaws, this scene in The Shining is not your typical horror scene. But what makes it so terrifying is its portrayal of madness and the violence we as humans inflict on each other.

All Work & No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy

Duvall plays Wendy Torrance, the terrorized wife of Jack Torrance (Nicholson). She realizes he has written a novel’s worth of , “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s the first time the suspecting wife gets confirmation of her husband’s descent into madness. And Duvall’s convincing performance makes audience-goers feel her unease.

Discovering her, Jack slowly intimidates a hysterical Wendy, who clutches a baseball bat because her life literally depends on it. There are also flashes to a horrified Danny, who is seeing visions of blood flooding the hotel lobby.

The Shining (1980)

Duvall’s performance as poor, tormented Wendy is so convincing for one legendary reason. Kubrick had bullied and wore out Duvall intentionally to bring out her character. In fact, Duvall became so stressed over filming that her hair began to fall out. And despite Kubrick’s questionable treatment of Duvall, we can at least feel grateful for her legendary performance.

1. Headspin – The Exorcist

When The Exorcist premiered in 1973, it changed the world. People were not only lined up around blocks to see this tale of demonic possession. Many wound up leaving theaters in hysterics, crying – with some even vomiting and fainting.

At the time, no other film had tested people’s faith quite like The Exorcist. We’re used to usual scare tactics, like demonic possession. But The Exorcist truly set a precedent for future films to come.

Out of all the unforgettable horror scenes, the head spin comes in as the scariest movie scene of all time. There are several elements that make this the most horrifying movie scene of all time. There’s the makeup and Regan’s demonic eyes. The foul language in the chilling voice of the demon. Not to mention, the fact that a little girl’s head has twisted 360° around.

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist Changed the Horror Genre Forever

Maybe it’s the fact that, at the time, no other film had ever touched on demonic possession. Nor had any other film grappled with such a scary concept and involved children in the process. But The Exorcist truly set the stage for future horror films.

There were other freaky – yet iconic – body movements throughout the film. For example, the possessed Regan comes bolting down the stairs in a crab-like, spider walk. We see this same evil, unsettling walk again in The Ring (1998), The Unborn (2009), and in various TV shows.

Whenever we see headspins or crawl walks in film and TV today, we can’t help but cringe… and we can thank The Exorcist for that.

Watch the Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time This Halloween

The genre of horror has been around since the ancient times. But with today’s special effects, horror has evolved exponentially. Many of the scariest movie scenes of all time were in films created before CGI and prosthetics. And there are still qualities about these classic films that we love and will come back to time and time again.

This Halloween, you can be sure to binge on the scariest movies of the 20th century. But when it’s time to experience the horror for yourself, haunted houses do more than deliver.

Cutting Edge Haunted House is the world’s largest haunted attraction. Experience the horror for yourself and buy your tickets today! And stay tuned for more countdowns of the scariest movie moments in cinematic history.

5 Scary Makeup Ideas for Halloween 2018

For some people, September marks the beginning of the autumn season. Grocery stores are stocking up their candy aisles. And the pumpkin spice fever is already well underway.

Still, many people consider it too early to commemorate the start of the Halloween season. But if you drool over the thought of horror movies and haunted houses, it’s never too early to celebrate.

Nor is it ever too early to start perusing scary makeup ideas for Halloween!

Do you dress up as something downright terrifying every year without fail? Or, are you looking to spread your horror wings for the first time this upcoming Halloween?

Either way now is the time to start planning and practicing your scary Halloween makeup. And you’ll need some bone-chilling inspiration straight from the pros. Here are 5 scary ideas for Halloween makeup to help you get started!

1. Speak No Evil

The world of horror is no stranger to the concept of sewn mouths. Films like Strangeland and The Crazies featured memorable scenes depicting stitched mouths. And in recent years, this concept has garnered the name “Speak No Evil” in the realm of special effects makeup.

The Speak No Evil look is a terrifying way to play on some people’s worst fear. There are a variety of horrifying looks that manipulate the appearance of the mouth. No matter which looks you’re going for, you’ll need liquid latex, first and foremost.

If you’re going for a cleaner look, you may only need concealer or foundation, needle, and thread. You won’t actually sew your mouth, silly! You will sew layers of the liquid latex once it’s completely dry, however.

For example, if you’re going for a simple scary makeup look, you can follow a_skeleton’s method. Her method involves building layers of latex and toilet paper and then sewing the latex. She then uses black and red face paint to make it look like a very bloody sewing job.

a_skeleton / @macabremakeup

We’re also a fan of @_harlequinade’s concept of Speak No Evil. Instead of sewing the dried latex, this makeup artist applied twine.

But there are many horrifying ways to manipulate the mouth that don’t involve sewing. Take it from Sara Clauson of Glam&Gore. She perfected the See No Evil look using cotton balls and liquid latex. Her Speak No Evil resembles what a zombie’s rotting or melting mouth would look like.

No matter which Speak No Evil look you go for, one thing is certain: You’re bound to make bystanders do a double take.

2. Zombie Superhero

Marvel and DC Comics have dominated the box office in recent years. So, it’s only expected to see some Wonder Women and Batmen walking around this Halloween. If you love superheroes but want to try scary makeup ideas for Halloween, you’re in luck! You can zombify any superhero your inner dark and horror-loving heart desires.

First, you’ll need to decide which superhero you’ll revive from the dead this Halloween. Then, you’ll need to recreate or acquire their costume so you can zombify it! Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Spritz brown/black food coloring or bleach onto the costume
  • Tatter up and make rips in the cloth
  • Dip areas of the cloth in fake blood
  • Smear and rub dirt on the cloth

Chances are, your superhero’s mask didn’t come out unscathed during the zombie apocalypse. So, you’ll also want to tatter or rip it up, as well. That way, you can show off some terrifying zombie makeup.
Zombie makeup can be as simple as powdering your face and applying dark circles around your eyes. It’s the easiest way to create a gaunt and sunken appearance. Add some fake wounds and white colored contacts, and you’ll be ready to walk the earth once again.

Of course, you can go the extra mile by channeling the skills of the industry’s finest makeup artists. Take the makeup and special effect artists from The Walking Dead, for example. The TV series is, after all, based on a comic series, too.

You can also keep your makeup in the spirit of comic books. No one does this better than makeup artist Argenis Pinal.

His Zombie Wolverine looks straight out of a Marvel comic!

3. Trypophobic

Are you looking for scary Halloween makeup that will play on people’s nightmares?

If so, playing on trypophobia is quite possible with makeup. Trypophobia is, by definition, a pathological fear of holes. Whether it’s a honeycomb, coral reef, or actual holes in the skin… Some people are downright disgusted by the images of holes.

More makeup artists are manipulating their skin to look like its infected with holes. Check out @bulldozer_speech_demon’s trypophobic look:

There are varying methods of how to create the illusion of holes in the skin. We like artist Cynthia Koning’s method of creating a tacky base with spirit gum. Then, she uses flesh-colored wax and applies it onto the sticky base. The final step involves (you guessed it) digging out tiny, irregular holes from the wax layer.

If you’re looking for a simple scary makeup idea that will make trypophobics shudder, this look is for you!

4. Demonic Nun

Every Halloween, there’s always someone, somewhere, dressed up as a nun. For some non-religious people, dressing up as a nun is an ironic jab at their lack of faith. For others, Halloween is a chance to channel all those years of Catholic school and Sunday school.

But this year, you can expect to see some pretty terrifying nun costumes out there. The Nun is one of the biggest horror movies to come out this year. It’s a prequel to The Conjuring 2, which tells the story of how Valak, the demonic nun, came to be. And now, makeup artists are drawing on Eleanor Sabaduquia’s work from The Nun.

Makeup artist Adela Mejia has kicked off her Halloween series inspired by Sabaduquia. For fans of the movie, they too can recreate the demonic nun using Adela Mejia’s tutorial.

The Valak look from The Conjuring universe is just one style people can grace this Halloween. But there are other simple scary makeup ideas that revolve around nun costumes. Take the idea of the weeping nun, for example. You may be familiar with this look from American Horror Story: Asylum.

First, you’ll paint your face completely white. Lips, eyelids, ears, and all. Then, you’ll apply blacked out colored contacts. Taking black face paint, create a melting stream of tears pouring out from your eyes. After that, all you’ll need is a nun costume to make people around you whisper a Hail Mary to themselves.

5. Sea Monster

Step aside, Ariel. In folklore, traditional mermaids were nothing like the Disney princess. In fact, they were once believed to enchant sailors and shipwreck them.

Mermaid costumes have grown in popularity over the years. But after the premiere of The Shape of Water, the fascination with sea monsters has been reborn. So, whether you’re looking to be a demonic mermaid or the Gill-Man, pay attention!

First, you’ll need fishnet stockings. These vary in size and design, but it’s good to acquire one with large knits and one with smaller knits.

There are plenty of ways to create the illusion of fish scales on your face. Not to mention, you can use just about any color makeup you desire. But this tutorial is perfect for an underwater simple scary makeup look.
If you want a concept more on the monstrous side, consider going as a piranha or angler fish this Halloween. Madeyewlook’s tutorial is great inspiration whether you want to go as an anglerfish or some other underwater monster this year.

Make people think twice about going swimming by channeling your inner sea monster this Halloween!

Find Inspiration with Scary Makeup Ideas for Halloween

It may still feel like summer in some parts of the U.S. But Halloween is right around the corner – and now is the time to start planning and practicing your scary Halloween makeup look!

Once October rolls around, where’s the best place to rock scary makeup ideas for Halloween? The good news is that you don’t need to wait until October 31st to wear your makeup. Haunted houses are the best place to show off your scary makeup and meet others who are just as scary as you.

If you love haunted houses, rock your scary makeup at the world’s largest haunted house in Fort Worth. There’s something for every horror fan at Cutting Edge Haunted House. Buy your tickets for the 2018 season today!